Six Workplace Trends to Watch in 2017

With the arrival of 2017, we’ve been spending time sizing up some of the many important developments, issues and trends in the workplace. And let us tell you: from tools, to employee experience, to team dynamics, workplace habits are a-changing. Teams are on the rise, the next generation of leaders are reshaping their work environments as I write, and the employer-employee contract continues to actively evolve.

Our analysis included published research findings, our own experience consulting to client companies, and ongoing monitoring of corporate commitments and published policies….With a bit of clairvoyance mixed in!

Color us *unsurprised* that Business Chemistry’s value had rarely been clearer. Continue reading “Six Workplace Trends to Watch in 2017”

When You’ve Got Tough Feedback to Give, Flex Your Style


An old maxim cautions: “There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing and be nothing.” We live in a world where feedback is unavoidable. And for most of us who deliver feedback to others, our default tendency is to give praise or constructive criticism in the way we like to hear it.

The trouble is, taking a universal approach to communicating with others works to our detriment. When we use a “standard template” for conveying praise or corrective advice, we’re practically inviting misunderstandings and broken trust. Just imagine the aftermath of giving hard-hitting feedback–with little context–to your most sensitive but reliable worker. More than just hurt feelings, we can actually distract a person from our main message with an ill-chosen delivery!

Continue reading “When You’ve Got Tough Feedback to Give, Flex Your Style”

Recognizing the value of collective contributions

collective contributions

We’ve recently wrapped up performance review season here at Deloitte–a great opportunity for each of us to review our accomplishments and define our value. I spent some time doing the same, and it made me think about how Business Chemistry might come into play at this time of year.

  • If you ask a Pioneer about her contribution, she’ll excitedly describe the new ideas she’s brought to the table and the resulting possibilities now on the horizon.
  • A Guardian will dust off the list of his projects and tasks that he’s been keeping throughout the year, review it for completeness and accuracy, and setup an hour to walk through it.
  • A Driver will fervently bullet each goal achieved during the year, pointing out that she’s already working at the next level.
  • But ask an Integrator about what he’s accomplished, and more often than not, he’ll need some time to think about it.

The Integrator’s need to deliberate isn’t based on lack of accomplishment or confidence in his abilities. Instead, an Integrator may have a harder time identifying his individual achievements if much of his value lies in his efforts toward collaboration, relationship-building, and working for the benefit of the group. Because these are collective contributions, his individual contributions are naturally de-emphasized. Further, such activities are often viewed as “soft” skills that don’t directly contribute to business results or the bottom line. No wonder Integrators may not be able to articulate their value right off the bat.

And yet, most of us have experienced the benefits of an Integrator’s contributions. An Integrator may boost morale when there is a lack of motivation on the team, helping to bring a project over the finish line on-time. Their optimism and authenticity may speak volumes to a client and help the team land a new project. Their diplomacy and ability to relate to others may help get naysayers onboard with a decision that’s right for the company.

Continue reading “Recognizing the value of collective contributions”